In-class polling is one of the simplest tools in the professor’s engagement kit. But applied correctly, the brief action of selecting A, B or C can become one of the most powerful ways to uncover, challenge and develop your students’ knowledge. There’s more you can do with multiple choice than with clickers or a show of hands. If you’re writing multiple choice questions for your class, here are three ways that you can add depth and sophistication to your teaching using Top Hat Classroom.

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  1. Segment Responses

  2. Multiple choice: Segmented polling

    Segmenting allows you to compare the responses of one question with another—and look at how the two responses stack up.

    You can ask your students two different multiple choice questions, then slice the replies based on the answers to both questions. This will give you and your students insight into any correlation between the knowledge or opinions that have been expressed in the responses.

    Aside from the visual representation, this feature also allows students to engage with material in a novel and insightful way.

  3. Compare Sessions

  4. Multiple choice: Compare Sessions

    A great way to compare student understanding of a concept before or after a lesson, this feature allows you to demonstrate how students responded to a question that was asked on two (or more) occasions.

    It is also a very useful tool for think-pair-share activities because you can easily check changes in responses to the same question before and after asking students to share ideas and collaborate with their peers.

  5. Anonymous polling

By writing multiple choice questions that can be answered anonymously, you can get some truly honest responses from your students. Anonymous polling can be used to ask students about more sensitive or personal topics.

Matthew Numer, who teaches a human sexuality course at Dalhousie University finds this tool, along with anonymous discussions, allows more bashful students to open up about their preconceptions and opinions in his course. You can read more how Top Hat increases engagement in his class here.

Anonymous polling can also be used to get a truly honest snapshot of student comprehension—far better than a classroom full of blank faces when you ask a question.

For more ideas on writing multiple choice questions, take a look at these posts on our comprehensive knowledge base and support forum:

Interested in a personal tour of the Multiple Choice feature and of Top Hat in general? Book a demo, at a time of your own choosing, with one of our representatives here.

Related pages

Learn more about Top Hat’s classroom polling app